Tag Archives: Illinois law

When Is Supervised Parenting Time Appropriate in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton-supervised-parenting-time-lawyerDuring and after a divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows both parents to have reasonable parenting time with their child. In some situations, if a parent is worried about his or her child’s physical or mental well-being when spending time with the other parent, he or she can request a hearing to ask for supervised visits. The parent requesting this supervision needs to show evidence to support this request. If you are ordered to have supervised parenting time with your child, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.

Factors that May Require Supervision

Many factors are considered when deciding if parenting time will be supervised or not. In general, Illinois courts prefer to promote a healthy parent-child relationship, even during disputes over parental responsibilities (child custody). For a parent to have supervised parenting time, the court must consider the child to be in serious danger if he or she were to be left alone for a period of time with that parent. The court also has the right to modify an existing parenting time order if needed.
If two ex-spouses have an argument, or if one parent does not like the other parent’s new partner, that typically does not qualify as seriously endangering the child mentally, physically, or emotionally. On the other hand, if the other parent (or his or her new love interest) is physically or verbally abusive to the child, that is grounds for seeking supervised parenting time. In some cases involving domestic abuse to the other parent or the child, the court may issue an order of protection to limit or restrict an allegedly abusive parent’s access to the child entirely.
If one parent is diagnosed as mentally ill or is found to be abusing drugs or alcohol, those would be valid reasons for supervised parenting time. After a certain amount of time, supervised parenting time orders can be reviewed to determine if they should be reversed or modified. This could happen in cases where an alcoholic parent becomes sober, or if they are under the care of a physician and are seeking treatment or therapy for a mental disorder.

Who Can Supervise Parenting Time?

Once supervised parenting time is ordered, the court can appoint another family member, a friend, or a third party to supervise the visits between a parent and child. Supervised parenting time centers can provide a neutral meeting place where trained staff or social workers can observe the visits. In most scenarios, there is no fee for low-income families to attend these centers.
In Illinois, courts can place other types of restrictions on parenting time if they determine it is necessary or in the best interest of the child, including specifying certain locations for visits,  denying parenting time when the parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or restricting overnight parenting time.
Normally, only parents have a legal right to parenting time. In certain situations, however,  grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings can request a visitation order from the court if they so choose.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorce can be difficult in many ways. If certain events lead to you being required to have supervised parenting time with your child, you should speak to a diligent Wheaton family law attorney. We can review your case to determine if the order can be reversed or modified. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K603.10.htmhttps://www.ourfamilywizard.com/blog/making-most-supervised-visitation

 

Terminating a Domestic Partnership in Illinois

Wheaton civil union attorneyPrior to the 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, many same-sex couples entered into a domestic partnership. However, this term has been sunsetted in Illinois, meaning the laws regarding these relationships have been terminated. Both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples now have a choice between civil unions and marriage.

If you hold a Domestic Partnership Certificate, you do not automatically qualify for the rights that married spouses enjoy, such as benefits, survivorship, or ownership rights. Your domestic partnership is still a matter of public record, thus maintaining its validity; however, no future Domestic Partnership Certificates will be issued. The term “domestic partnership” now refers to an informal, long-term, committed relationship rather than a legally binding union.

Entering into a Civil Union or Marriage

While same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the United States, some couples do not want to enter into a marriage and opt for a civil union instead. The option is available to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples alike. The primary difference between civil union and marriage is that a civil union is solely recognized within the state of Illinois, while marriage is federally recognized. According to the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, once you enter into a civil union, you are granted many of the same rights in Illinois as those offered to married spouses. If you opt to enter into a civil union or marriage, any existing domestic partnership automatically terminates without further documentation.

Dissolving a Partnership

If, however, you would like to end the relationship altogether, you may dissolve the existing domestic partnership by completing an Affidavit of Termination. The form does not need to be completed by both parties, but if only one party is present, the absent party must be notified by mail. In addition to filing the form with the County Clerk’s Office, a $30.00 fee is required. Termination is valid 30 days after the official filing date. Unfortunately, a domestic partnership does not offer any of the protections provided through marriage or civil unions.

Dissolution of a Civil Union

As with marriage, you may legally terminate a civil union through dissolution or a declaration of invalidity. The procedure to dissolve a civil union is the same as divorce, with the only difference being the wording. Previously, domestic partnerships did not have the same legal protections.

Ask a DuPage County Domestic Partnership Lawyer

The lines between the domestic partnership, civil unions, and marriage are blurry, and the laws surrounding these type of partnerships continue to evolve each year. If you have questions regarding your rights in any of these relationships or the process of dissolving them, a Wheaton family law attorney can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we will clarify any questions you may have and aggressively defend your interests should you choose to terminate your relationship. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/domestic-partnerships

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=096-1513

https://www.isba.org/ibj/2011/05/aguidetothenewillinoiscivilunionlaw

What to Do When a Major Life Event Leaves You Unable to Pay Child Support

child support, DuPage County family law attorneysMany unmarried and divorced parents in Illinois pay child support. The monthly payments are meant to help evenly spread the cost of raising a child when parents are unmarried or divorced. In order to determine which parent will pay child support, the court chooses one parent to be the primary guardian. This parent has the majority of the parenting time and will therefore receive any child support which is ordered. The court then considers both parent’s income, assets, and life circumstances and uses that information to calculate a fair and reasonable child support payment amount.

However, we all know that life can be unpredictable. Sometimes unexpected life events like job loss, becoming hospitalized, or incurring significant medical bills leave parents unable to make their child support payments in full and on time. If you are struggling to pay your court-ordered child support, read on to learn how to handle the situation in a way that benefits both you and your child.

Never Skip Child Support Payments

One of the most critical errors any payer parent can make is to simply stop paying their child support. Skipping a payment or paying a lesser amount than is required by the court order will make the payer parent look irresponsible and can influence the court’s decisions regarding child support and child custody in the future. Parents who do not make child support payments can have their wages garnished or tax refund intercepted. Furthermore, extensive nonpayment of court-ordered child support can be punishable by jail time. Illinois law calls this “criminal nonsupport.” Instead of missing payments, notify the court immediately upon realizing you cannot make your payments.

Request a Formal Child Support Modification Through The Court

In order to qualify for a change in your child support obligation, you must have experienced a “substantial change in circumstances.” The court cannot change child support orders without a good reason. You will need to file a petition for child support modification with the court that has jurisdiction over your case. In the petition, you will need to explain why you need a modification. Keep in mind that the court’s objective is to help the child or children retain the best quality of life possible in both homes. The court will do what it considers is in the best interest of the child, and sometimes this means denying requests for lower child support payments.

Let Us Help

Speak with an experienced DuPage County child support attorney from the Andrew Cores Family Law Group for help with all of your family law needs. Call us at 630-871-1002 today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2089&ChapterID=59